Family tradition is at the heart of The Dust, which premiered on the Fringe yesterday. The production examines the consequences of family units turning away from their traditions when they are fragmented by loss.
Director Xolani Ngesi said that the message of the production is that people may have different family traditions, but that all traditions and practices should be embraced and not rejected when new people enter a family unit.
The Dust focuses on the wife and children of a man after his death. When his wife’s new husband joins her family, he refuses to accept their traditions. Ngesi said the play speaks of the tensions that build up between members of a family when their traditions are swept, like dust, under the carpet.
He explained that this dust always “finds its way to blind us if we do not sweep it up”.
While Ngesi said that the production is open to interpretation, he admitted that it does send out the message that people cannot separate or isolate their traditions.
“People have to understand their own and others’ traditions,” he said.”
The Dust is not the only production at the Festival that looks at how a family unit functions after the loss of one of its members. Some Father’s Sons explores how sons function after losing their mother. In I Had To Do It a woman divorces her husband in order to explore a relationship with a younger man, with dire consequences for the children.
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